[LINK] Google Wave

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sat Oct 3 10:44:36 AEST 2009

Jan Whitaker wrote:
> Do linkers have thoughts on this new Google project? ...

Google issued me with a Wave developer's account and I spent a day at 
ANU being trained by the people from Google Sydney who wrote Wave (some 
of whom are ANU graduates): 

The more technical people around me were able to develop small Wave 
applications with a little help from the experts. But after a day I 
still did not quite "get" what it was all about (but then it took me 
months, and more than one presentation, before I worked out what "The 
World Wide Web" was and that it was important).

Wave appears to be an attempt to combine email, instant messaging, 
Wikis, blogs and the like into one simple XML based format with a web 
interface. But the interface I saw was at a very early stage and I 
thought a year away from being a "Beta" release.

As an example of problems with Wave, I asked about accessibility and 
this was something the developers acknowledged needed to be considered, 
but not by them at that stage. I found the constantly updating live data 
very hard to read. As soon as I had read part of a Wave and was about to 
enter my own contribution, the Wave would change, because someone else 
had updated it. This is like being hard of hearing at a party and not 
being able to keep up with the conversation.

It seems to me that the underlying idea of Wave is a good one, with 
relatively simple structures to provide different Internet services. But 
the user interface needs extensive work. No doubt Google, or others, 
will provide e-mail, IM and other style interfaces for those who are not 
comfortable (as I was not) with the do-everything live interface.

Also it was curious that Google, or at least the Wave developers, had 
not considered how to incorporate advertising into Wave. It would seem 
natural and very targeted advertising may be much less intrusive in 
Wave, than in less interactive applications. In effect the advertising 
would be another contributor to the online conversation.

ps: More in my blog at: 

Tom Worthington FACS HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Lecturer, The Australian National University t: 02 61255694
Computer Science http://cs.anu.edu.au/people.php?StaffID=140274

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